This Letter Sizing Chart is placed here for your convenience in helping you determine the size of letters based on the distance they are to be viewed. This is by no means an exact representation, there are many factors involved and this chart only represents the averages. The color of the lettering on different background colors, (see below) textures, letter styles, weather conditions, amount and quality of light, a person’s eyesight and the speed at which you are driving past the signage can all impact the readability.
Larger letters doesn’t always mean better legibility, the area around the letters or what is known as the ‘white space’ must be sufficient to allow the lettering to create a contrast with the background. Many people make the mistake of placing lettering too close to the edge of the sign background or crowding the ‘useable’ sign area on a building. Placing letters too close together in order to fit larger letters in a smaller space can drastically reduce the legibility of the sign.
Tall slim letters are usually less legible than shorter standard styles, so the ‘height’ of a letter is not the main concern when creating readable copy on your sign. Your professional sign artist can help you determine your needs.
An example from above: at the top of the chart shows that from as far away as 100′ you can “read” a 3″ tall letter, this does not mean that this is the best size choice for readability it only means that under the best situations you could read the letter. The center column shows that at 30′ you get the best readability for a 3″ letter. A rule of thumb is a distance of 10 feet for each inch in letter height, you can test this by typing in a few words in a computer program at different font styles, colors, sizes, and printing them out and posting them on a wall, then stand back and view them at different distances to see how all these variables come into play in choosing the proper lettering for your sign. Trying to save a few dollars by purchasing smaller letters is not a wise decision, neither is trying to use too large letters in too small a space, you may be wasting all your expense and efforts when the sign cannot be read by the customers you are trying to attract.
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